This argument with my friend has been englightening. We went a few more rounds on politics - he wanted me to define an alternate view of mankind to the two proposed by D'Souza and I told him I thought that there was evil in people, but that people weren't necessarily evil or good by nature - they're human, so they're both. Doesn't mean there aren't rights and wrongs in the world, but that's just my worldview. Anyway, he exposed some of my own assumptions and in the end I felt like I learned a few things (I doubt he learned anything - he's as stubborn as I am and much more self-assured) and it was very nice to at least talk about it with someone willing to get in there and make the effort.
But it did make me wonder - was it really worth it to discuss? Deep down I say YES! Dialogue is always better! But I'm an idealist, and I'm sure most Americans would say I should've just left it alone. But I can't. I really do feel like a lot of the problems in the US are built around a lack of dialogue and thought. And yes, I realize that the vast majority of the population is too busy living life to think about things. But I don't think that's a good excuse. The information is there, and honestly the time is there - its just turning off the latest episode of "What's my tie?" and bothering to take the 5 minutes to do some research. Maybe its because we're not taught to ask questions as kids. Who knows. Anyway, I'm nothing if not persistent... even when it gets me nowhere.